MP Motorsport have shown strong improvement since the inaugural Formula 3 season in 2019. They went from finishing sixth that year and again in 2020 to placing fourth in the following two campaigns.
But 2023 proved to be their best season to date, as they finished third behind F3’s two most successful teams in terms of Championships and victories, PREMA Racing and Trident. MP return in 2024 with aspirations of launching their own assault on the title.
To help with that, the Dutch outfit have brought a brand-new line-up featuring three rookies, with Tim Tramnitz, Kacper Sztuka and Alex Dunne all keen to make an impression and to help the team on their ascent up the F3 ladder.
Starting with Tramnitz, he makes the step-up to Formula 3 following an impressive 2023 effort. The German driver finished third in the Formula Regional European Championship behind Andrea Kimi Antonelli and fellow F3 rookie Martinius Stenshorne, after scoring three wins and 10 podiums in total.
A member of the Red Bull junior team, Tramnitz also competed in three races in the Euroformula Open Championship last year, ending up on the podium in each one.
Prior to that, he caught the eye in 2021 when he finished as the runner-up to Oliver Bearman in the ADAC F4 Championship, achieving nine podiums over the course of the season which included five victories.
That same year, he also competed in the Italian F4 Championship, but once again found himself in second place behind Bearman, despite taking four victories, two pole positions and earning nine trips to the rostrum.
Tramnitz now makes the step-up to F3 where his stated aim it to help MP push for the title. If he is to do so, a fast start to the campaign could prove vital, and having done all three post-season tests, he has learned plenty that should accelerate his adaptation.
MP will be hopeful that this is the case as while F3 is a whole different challenge, Tramnitz has proven that he has the pace to compete near the front of the field.
Another Red Bull junior driver racing in MP colours this season is Sztuka who, like Tramnitz, makes the step-up to Formula 3 after a very successful 2023. The 18-year-old comes in off the back of winning the Italian F4 Championship last season, aided by his nine wins and pole positions, as well as his 12 podiums.
He also finished first in the Formula Winter Series, scoring five wins, four pole positions, and six podiums in just six races. He continued his great form in the two rounds of the Euro 4 Championship, adding another two wins, three poles, and four podiums to his growing tally before skipping the final event.
Like Tramnitz, the pace is there for Sztuka but how he adapts to this new Championship will be key to his and MP’s chances in 2024. He will have a fair idea of what to expect coming into the season having done the final post-season test in Imola.
However, the more time he spends behind the wheel, the more he will start to feel comfortable in the car. Sztuka will also be keen to get as many laps in as possible in pre-season testing ahead of the Sakhir opener, as he looks to pick up from where he left off in 2023.
The final driver announced by MP for the season, Dunne comes in after a splendid couple of years in single seater racing.
After graduating from karting in 2021, Dunne went on to win the 2022 British F4 Championship, 69 points ahead of nearest rival Oliver Gray – even after not racing at the final round of the season at Brands Hatch.
At the same time, he also finished in the runner-up spot in Italian F4. He performed just as well in 2023, as he once again finished at the runner-up behind fellow F3 rookie Callum Voisin in the GB3 Championship.
Dunne’s success in all of these competitions came at the first time of asking, which will certainly serve as a massive boost of confidence heading into the Formula 3 season, as it shows his ability to adapt to different categories.
Like his teammates, he will now have to do the same this year, and his lone post-season test at a rainy Imola, where he topped the timesheets, showed a glimpse of what Dunne could do in F3 machinery. Time will tell if he can take that form into the upcoming season.
In their bid to lift themselves up to Championship contention, MP have a line-up filled with drivers who have showed tremendous potential in their previous competitions. But any talk of a title challenge will truly depend on how well each rookie adapts.